Looking for the best value-for-money buffet restaurant in Taipei? In this installment of our Taiwan Travel Guide Series, we share our wonderful experience at Xin Mala Hotpot (台北新马辣经典麻辣锅).

Xin Mala Hotpot (台北新马辣经典麻辣锅) is the best buffet-style hotpot restaurant you can get in Taiwan.

For those of you who are familiar with Mala Hot Pot (马辣顶级麻辣鸳鸯火锅), Xin Mala Hotpot is its younger brother with a free-flow of premium hotpot ingredients.

The Most Value-For-Money Buffet Hotpot Restaurant in Taipei

The Soup Base – Yuan Yang Style

The pot is served Yuan-Yang style, meaning that it comes as a twin pot with a separator in between so you can order 2 soup bases from the 5 options given:

  • Collagen Hotpot (highly recommended)
  • Spicy Hotpot (highly recommended)
  • Stir Fried Chicken Soup with Chinese sauce and Hotpot (highly recommended)
  • Pickled Chinese Cabbage Hotpot
  • Vegetable Energy Soup

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Xin Mala Hotpot Soup Base
The 5 types of soup base at Xin Mala Hotpot. Source: Xin Mala Hotpot

We ordered the Collagen Hotpot and the Stir Fried Chicken Soup with Chinese sauce Hotpot. The soup base started off as something very light, but the flavors will gain in intensity as more hotpot ingredients are added.  In terms of soup base, the ones at Wu Lao Hotpot  (無老鍋) and Top One Pot definitely wins hands down because they use premium ingredients and have a more nourishing effect.

Discover Book Travel Tip:

Top-ups of the soup base is free. However, do be specific in asking for addition of soup. Otherwise, they will only add hot water to it.

Xin Mala Hotpot - Collagen Hotpot and Stir Fried Chicken Soup with Chinese sauce
Our twin pot. On the left is the Collagen Hotpot, while the Stir Fried Chicken Soup with Chinese Sauce (Huadiao Wine) is on the right
Xin Mala Hotpot - Collagen
The collagen cubes come separately with the soup base. Most of us will mistake this for a jelly dessert, but it is meant to be added into your collagen broth when it boils!
Xin Mala Hotpot Stir Fried Chicken Soup with Chinese sauce
Chicken slices marinated in Chinese Sauce (Huadiao Wine). It is meant to be added in to the chicken broth hotpot

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The Hotpot Ingredients (Ordered from the Menu)

Xin Mala Hotpot operates on the basis of ordering items from a menu sheet. However, everything on the menu is free-flow and unlimited.

To ensure that all items maintain their freshness before going into the pot, each order is limited to 8 items and a maximum of 3 portions per item. This may appear to be quite limiting at first, but we were pleasantly surprised by the fast service and the speed at which our ordered items were delivered to us.

We actually like this system much better than going to the buffet line itself since precious time can be saved for eating.

Xin Mala Hotpot Menu
Xin Mala Hotpot Menu. Source: Xin Mala Hotpot

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There is nothing additional that you need to pay for at Xin Mala Hotpot. These are the categories of what you can expect in terms of free-flow hotpot ingredients at Xin Mala Hotpot:

Shabu-Shabu Meat

There are 13 types of cuts of meats, including US Prime Beef, Australian M7 Premium Cuts, New Zealand Beef and Lamb Shoulder, Danish Grade A Matsusaka pork.

Seafood

There are 11 selections on the menu, including the premium Argentina prawns, fish, abalone, and scallops.

Handmade Seafood Balls

These are the kind that comes as a paste in a bamboo tube.

Mushrooms

Includes 4 of the most commonly used mushrooms for hotpots. You can also choose to have a mixed plate which contains all 4 types.

Vegetables

12 kinds of vegetables are up for selection.

Dumplings and Meatballs

There are 12 varieties, including fishballs, mushroom balls, fish dumplings, egg dumplings, crabmeat balls, prawn balls and cheeseballs.

Braised Snacks

These are mainly braised internal organs.

Rice/Noodles

Choose from either white rice or beef curry rice. The beef curry rice is said to be very good, but we didn’t try it.  There are also pre-packed hand-made noodles from the buffet line which we highly recommend.

Xin Mala Hotpot Argentina Prawns
Prawns that are bigger than Tommy’s mobile phone (Samsung S9 plus). These free-flow of premium prawns alone are worth the price of the entire hotpot buffet!
Xin Mala Hotpot Denmark Grade A Pork
Danish Grade A Matsusaka Pork. These are the best cut of pork available. We highly recommend you concentrate your efforts on this one
Xin Mala Hotpot Different Cuts of Pork
Other cuts of pork are also available and free-flow
Xin Mala Hotpot Abalone
Abalones are another item that makes this buffet hotpot value-for-money
Xin Mala Hotpot Mushrooms
Free Flow of Mushrooms

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Free-Flow Items from the Buffet Bar

Ice-Cream

24 flavours of premium ice-cream, comprising of 8 flavours of Movenpick and 16 flavours of Haagen Dazs ice-cream

Drinks

Beer, hot and cold beverages, milk tea, green tea, soft drinks, canned drinks.

Condiments

20 kinds of condiments and sauces. This is also the place where you get fresh eggs, and pre-packed noodles for your hotpot.

Xin Mala Hotpot Ice Cream Buffet
The premium ice-cream buffet
Xin Mala Hotpot Condiments Counter
Condiments Counter. Below are the fresh eggs and pre-packed noodles for your hotpot

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Price of Xin Mala Hotpot

At the time of writing, the prices are as follows:

  • Lunch NT635 (about SGD$28) 11:30am to 4:00pm
  • Dinner NT725 (about SGD$32) 4:00pm to 12 midnight
Xin Mala Hotpot Prices
Price and regulations

With such a great selection of hotpot items, many of which are premium grade, I dare say Xin Mala Hotpot is the most value-for-money hotpot buffet restaurant. I’ve estimated that I’ll even be able to break even if I eat only the Movenpick and Haagen Dazs ice-cream! As to how this restaurant even makes money is a mystery!

Perhaps the only limiting factor here is the time imposed on each diner. As with most hotpot restaurants, each table is given a maximum dining time. At Xin Mala Hotpot, the time limit is 2 hours. Our top tip? Go ahead and gorge on the ice-cream first while waiting for your soup base to arrive. It takes a bit of time for the soup to boil, so don’t waste any precious time on waiting!

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The Ambiance

The ambiance and seating here at Xin Mala Hotpot is super comfortable and relaxing. Seldom do I see an entire wall of roses in a restaurant. Each table/ booth is equipped with full leather seats and we get to sit in an entire large booth that can sit 6 even though there are only the 2 of us. Space is of essential essence when eating a buffet, so I am really grateful that we had a large table to put all our ingredients.

Xin Mala Hotpot Rose Wall
The rose wall at Xin Mala Hotpot is one of the most unique things we’ve ever seem in a restaurant
Xin Mala Hotpot Leather Seats
The comfortable booths which are big enough to sit six
Xin Mala Hotpot Ambiance
The wonderful ambiance at Xin Mala Hotpot together with its great value buffet makes it a great place to dine

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Xin Mala Hotpot Vs Mala Hotpot

What’s the main difference between Xin Mala Hotpot and its elder brother Mala Hotpot? Xin Mala being the more premium brand is slightly more expensive. Its lunch and dinner buffet is more expensive by NT90 (about SGD$4) as compared to Mala Hotpot. However, this slight difference in price is definitely worth it in view of the more premium ingredients for both lunch and dinner. Below is a comparison table of Xin Mala Hotpot vs Mala Hotpot. As is obvious from the table, if you are looking to indulge in prawns, premium pork and beef, then it is more logical to go for Xin Mala.

Xin Mala (新馬辣) vs Mala (馬辣)

Restaurant新馬辣 (Xin Mala)馬辣 (Mala)
US BeefYesLunch: Additional NT100 (SGD$4.40) per diner
Dinner: No Additional Charges
Palm-Sized Ocean PrawnsYesLunch: Additional NT100 (SGD$4.40) per diner
Dinner: No Additional Charges
Argentina Large PrawnsYesAdditional NT100 (SGD$4.40) per diner
Wild Grass PrawnsYesAdditional NT100 (SGD$4.40) per diner
Penghu PrawnsYesAdditional NT100 (SGD$4.40) per diner
Denmark Grade A PorkYesAdditional NT100 (SGD$4.40) per diner
Australian M9+ Black BeefYesAdditional NT200 (SGD$8.80) per diner
Premium Ice CreamYes (8 flavours of Movenpick and 16 flavours of Haagen Dazs ice-cream)Yes (8 flavours of Movenpick and 16 flavours of Haagen Dazs ice-cream)
Hot and Cold BeveragesYesYes
Fruits & DessertNoYes
PriceLunch: NT635 (about SGD$28)
Dinner: NT725 (about SGD$32)
Lunch: NT545 (about SGD$24)
Dinner: NT635 (about SGD$28)

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Final Verdict

Xin Mala Hotpot (台北新马辣经典麻辣锅) is such an impressive buffet hotpot restaurant, it had us craving for it months after our wonderful experience. We highly recommend going to Xin Mala Hotpot if you are in Taipei.

Xin Mala Hotpot Outlets in Taipei

There are 5 Xin Mala outlets in Taipei. The one that we went to was the Hanzhong Branch in Ximenting above Uniqlo. We find this outlet to be the most convenient and most visible.  If you are in Kaohsiung, there is a brand new branch in Dream Mall.

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How to Get to Xin Mala Hotpot Hanzhong Branch

HANZHONG BRANCH 漢中店:
6F, No.52 Hanzhong Street, Wanhua District, Taipei City 100
台北市萬華區漢中街52號6樓(位於UNIQLO樓上)

We hope you find this article useful in your trip planning. We love to hear from you. Please drop us your comments in the comments box below.

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